The Jakarta Post
State-owned gas distributor PT Perusahaan Gas Negara (PGN) will expand the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) for transportation vehicles such as supply trucks in order to increase its consumer base for gas, which at present consists only of household and industrial buyers.
To support the expansion plan, PGN signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) agreement with the Indonesian Truck Operators Association (Aptrindo) in Jakarta on March 6 to conduct a joint study on the use of LNG in trucks.
PGN will appoint its subsidiary PT Gagas Energi Indonesia to run the project, including a pilot project on the use of LNG in supply trucks.
PGN strategic and development director Syahrial Mukhtar said he hoped that, with the agreement, about 3,000 trucks owned by members of the association would in the long-run use LNG provided by PGN. The gas demand for the 3,000 trucks is about 18 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscfd).
“We will run the project because many Aptrindo members plan to revamp their fleet. With this program, their new trucks can use LNG fuel,” he said.
The total investment for the pilot project, which will last 12 months, is estimated to reach $1 million. The money will be used to procure LNG filling stations and truck prototypes. Meanwhile, Aptrindo members need to procure LNG-fueled trucks that cost between Rp 1 billion (US$69,871) and Rp 1.2 billion each.
Syahrial told The Jakarta Post that LNG could reduce fuel costs by around 20 to 30 percent due to its lower price and better efficiency.
“Diesel fuel will cost around Rp 10,000 per liter, while LNG would only cost between Rp 7,000 and 8,000 per diesel liter equivalent. In addition, the maintenance cost for LNG-fueled trucks will also be lower,” he said.
Aptrindo chairman Gemilang Tarigan said the pilot project would provide data on LNG fuel efficiency, as the trucking industry was looking for alternative fuels beside diesel.
“There are several problems with the subsidized diesel and fuels that we have had. One of them is the limited fuel stock, and sometimes our drivers also resell truck fuel,” he said.
In a separate interview, transportation expert Djoko Setijowarno told the Post that the government should ensure the availability of LNG filling stations along major transportation routes before starting a road test on LNG-fueled trucks.
“We have to ensure the availability of LNG filling stations and an LNG fuel supply along the routes before conducting road tests,” he said.
According to PGN’s official website, the company has 15 LNG fueling stations in Indonesia. They are located in Jakarta, West Java, East Java, Lampung and Batam Island. (mpr)